US 20050183346 A1
An air-conditioning condensate drainage system for mounting to the roof membrane of the roof structure of buildings or for construction thereof directly onto the roof membrane of a building structure. The air-conditioning condensate drainage system is defined by one or more strips of material having an isolation membrane having a bottom surface for assembly to a roof membrane. A pair of spaced ridge elements project upwardly from the isolation membrane and cooperate with the isolation membrane to define an air-conditioning condensate drainage channel. In the alternative, ridge strips may be disposed in spaced relation and fixed directly to a roof membrane to define condensate drain channels along the roof membrane to in-roof drains. The condensate drain strip or ridge strips maybe molded or extruded and maybe formed directly on and adhered to or fixed to the roof membrane to define the condensate drain channels.
6. A method for manufacturing an air-conditioning condensate drainage system for the roof structure of buildings, comprising:
placing at least one elongate drain channel strip onto a roof membrane, said elongate drain channel strip being of integral construction and having an isolation membrane and having a pair of spaced ridge elements being integral therewith and defining an air-conditioning condensate drainage channel therebetween; and
fixing said elongate drain channel strip to said roof membrane.
7. The method of
said fixing step being heat welding said elongate drain channel strip to said roof membrane; and
during said heat welding step, applying mechanical pressure to said elongate drain channel strip for enhancing said heat welding thereof to said roof membrane.
8. The method of
said fixing step being forming said elongate drain channel strip directly on and in heat welded relation with said roof membrane.
9. The method of
during said fixing step, extruding said elongate drain channel strip from an extrusion die directly on and in heat welded relation with said roof membrane.
10. The method of
forming a pair of ridge strips on a roof membrane; and
heat welding said pair of ridge strips to said roof membrane.
11. The method of
applying mechanical pressure to said pair of ridge strips for enhancing heat welding thereof to said roof membrane.
16. A method for installing an air-conditioning condensate drainage system for application to a roof membrane of a roof structure of buildings, comprising:
mixing a quantity of polymer foam material;
applying said polymer foam material to a roofing membrane; and
forming said polymer foam material to define an air-conditioning drain channel having spaced ridge members and defining a liquid drain channel between said spaced ridge members.
17. The method of
after curing of said polymer foam material, applying a coating of protective material to said air-conditioning drain channel.
18. The method of
extruding said polymer foam material through a die plate having at least one die opening of a configuration defining at least a portion of said air-conditioning drain channel; and
depositing the extruded polymer foam material onto said roofing membrane.
19. The method of
depositing said polymer foam material onto said roofing membrane;
with said polymer foam material in its uncured state, forming said polymer foam material to a desired configuration to define an air-conditioning condensate drain channel structure; and
after said forming of said polymer foam material, permitting curing of said of said polymer foam material on said roofing membrane.
20. The method of
said forming of said polymer foam material being extrusion of said polymer foam material through a die plate onto said roofing membrane.
21. The method of
said forming of said polymer foam material being moving a striker plate along said polymer foam material, said striker plate being configured to conform said polymer foam material to desired configuration for defining an air-conditioning condensate drain channel structure.
23. An air-conditioning condensate drain channel structure comprising:
a strip of substantially solid material having a mounting base surface having a generally triangular cross-sectional configuration, having opposed angulated side surfaces extending upwardly from said base surface and being disposed in upwardly converging relation and merging with a ridge top surface;
at least one elongate ridge member projecting upwardly from said mounting base surface and having upwardly converging side surfaces and an upper surface intersecting said side surfaces;
said strip of material being of hollow construction defining an interior space and having a base wall and angulated side walls protecting upwardly from said base wall and being disposed in upwardly converging relation with one another, said strip of material having a strip top wall being integral with each of said side walls;
an intermediate structural wall being located within said interior space and having spaced bottom edges being in integral connection with at least said base wall, said intermediate structural wall providing said at least one strip of material with enhanced structural integrity; and
said at least one strip of material being substantially solid and having a generally triangular cross-sectional configuration, having opposed angulated side surfaces extending upwardly from said base surface and being disposed in upwardly converging relation and merging with a ridge top surface.
24. The air-conditioning condensate drain channel structure of 23, comprising:
said strip of material being of hollow construction defining an interior space and having a base wall and angulated side walls projecting upwardly from said base wall and being disposed in upwardly converging relation with one another, said at least one strip of material having a strip top wall being integral with each of said side walls; and
an intermediate structural wall being located within said interior space and having spaced bottom edges being in integral connection with at least said base wall, said intermediate structural wall providing said at least one strip of material with enhanced structural integrity.
25. The air-conditioning condensate drain channel structure of
a dowel receptacle being defined between said intermediate structural wall and said base wall for receiving a dowel at a joint between abutting ridge strips for alignment of ridge strip ends for facilitating connection of abutting ridge strip ends and for enhancing the structural integrity of abutting connected ridge strips.
26. The air-conditioning condensate drain channel structure of
said at least one strip of material being a pair of strips of material each defining at least one elongate ridge; and
said pair of elongate strips of material being mounted to a roofing membrane and disposed in spaced relation to define an air-conditioning condensate drain channel therebetween.
27. The air-conditioning condensate drain channel structure of
said at least one strip of material having a central panel defining side edges and defining a pair of elongate ridge members each being located at a respective one of said side edges and defining an air-conditioning condensate drain channel therebetween; and
said at least one strip of material being adapted for mounted to a roofing membrane.
28. The air-conditioning condensate drain channel structure of
said elongate ridges having ends defining dowel receptacles;
dowel elements being received with dowel receptacles of abutting elongate ridges for alignment of said ends of abutting ridges, for facilitating connection of said ends of abutting ridges and for enhancing the structural integrity of a joint defined by said ends of abutting ridges.
29. The air-conditioning condensate drain channel structure of
a second strip of material being adapted for end to end connection with said at least one strip of material and having an extended central panel section being disposed for overlapping relation with a portion of said central panel of said at least one strip of material to prevent leakage at said joint.
The present invention concerns an improvement to the subject matter of U.S. Pat. No. 6,167,717 for “Air Conditioning Condensation Drainage System”, which issued to William E. Dudley and C. Ross Dutton on Jan. 2, 2001.
1. Field of the Invention
The present invention relates generally to the compromise or deterioration of roofing membrane materials by the condensate from air conditioning systems that are mounted on or above the roofs of commercial buildings that are finished with a roofing membrane that is slightly inclined or contoured, so as to direct water to drain openings in the roof and into drain conduits. More particularly, the present invention concerns the provision of a roof mounted drain system for collecting air conditioning condensate from roof-mounted air-conditioning units and conducting the condensate to a disposal drain and simultaneously isolating the roof membrane from contact by the air conditioning condensate. Even more specifically, the present invention concerns structure and materials for creating a plurality of nondestructive water conducting paths over the surface of a roofing system, that will direct discharged air conditioning condensate from roof mounted air conditioning units to one or more in-roof drains or gutters for disposal and will serve to isolate the roof membrane from the condensate.
2. Description of the Prior Art
Roofing membrane deterioration is typically caused by the presence of persistent air conditioning (“a/c”) condensation in localized areas on a roof surface, regardless of the roof surface membrane or construction. It has been determined through tests that a/c condensation moisture is laden with various chemical constituents and heavy metal concentration. Moreover, as water evaporation occurs and a/c condensation continues to be added onto the roofing membrane, the concentration of chemicals and heavy metals will continuously increase thus increasing the detrimental effect of these materials to the roofing membrane. Particularly, a/c condensation fluids attack the roof membrane in areas where it flows and in collection areas where it tends to collect in pools on the roof membrane surface. It has been found that summer heat will actually turn the water flows and pools into boiling water which will literally oxidize the roofing membrane. Extreme cold will freeze these water flows and pools causing fissures in the roof membrane surface. This problem is well documented by the National Roofing Contractors Association, manufacturers of roofing materials, and other roofing industry experts. Present methods of removing the a/c condensation from the roof surface are not effective. The following is a brief description of the most commonly utilized methods for a/c condensation removal from roofing systems.
PVC or Metal Piping:
The most common method utilized for the collecting and removal of a/c condensation from a roofing system is to connect a form of piping to the a/c unit and to run the piping from the unit to a suitable point of drainage. Typically, condensate collected in the condensate collection pan of a/c unit will exit the collection pan at a discharge opening and will flow into a drain line through a water trap, also referred to as a “P-trap”. The P-trap is a U-shaped conduit section maintaining a water seal between the collection pan and the drain line which functions to isolate air within the drain line from the interior of the a/c unit. Debris and algae will build up or become deposited within the P-trap as well as the drain line and will block the flow of condensate discharge from the collection pan. When a/c condensate drainage piping is utilized, the different types of drainage piping will vary from polyvinyl chloride (PVC) piping, galvanized steel piping, copper piping, and even black iron gas line piping. It has been found with condensate drainage piping that the piping systems quickly become clogged with debris and algae that is present within the drainage system, especially when the a/c unit is situated in a humid environment. It is not unusual for P-traps and drain lines to require service three to four times per year to remove algae and debris blockage Obviously, when a/c drain conduits become clogged to the point that condensate water cannot flow freely there-through, the condensate will build up within the condensate collection pan until it flows into air flow ductwork and then seeks its way into the building. Service personnel are then called on an emergency basis to repair the roof sufficiently prevent leakage of water into the building. At times condensate will build up within the a/c unit until it begins to leak around the edges of the collection pan, in which case it will flow onto the roofing membrane, causing deterioration of the roof membrane as mentioned herein. If the a/c unit structure is partially rusted away adjacent the perimeter of the condensate collection pan, which is often the case, significant leakage of condensate onto the roofing membrane will occur. The condensate will then flow along the roof membrane, following the natural slope of the roof membrane and will develop one or more pools of condensate liquid on the roof surface. This condensate liquid, because it is laden with chemicals and heavy metals as mention above, will begin to degrade the roof membrane. As typically occurs in roofing systems, having condensate drain conduits, because of traffic, age, and constant clogging problems requiring significant maintenance effort and expense, personnel having the responsibility for building maintenance will eventually disconnect the condensate drainage pipes from the air conditioning units. This of course, will cause the a/c condensate to be discharged directly from the collection pan through the drain opening and onto the roof membrane surface. When the drain piping is disconnected in this manner, it is done with the knowledge that deterioration of the roofing membrane by the discharged a/c condensate will eventually result and that, as a consequence, roofing repair will be necessitated in a relatively short period of time. The eventual result is that the disconnected a/c drainage pipes will end up as debris that is present on the roof surface. This disconnected piping debris obviously presents a hazard to workers engaged in roofing maintenance and repair and can be a cause of damage to the roofing membrane.
While commercial buildings can be provided with internal a/c drain piping systems that extend throughout the building structure to conventional building drain lines, this internal piping method is seldom used because it is expensive and requires frequent maintenance. Internal condensate drainage piping is a piping system that is connected with the condensate discharge drains of the various a/c units and extends to plumbing drain lines within the confines of the building structure. Debris collected by the condensate of the a/c units will flow along with the condensate into the drain lines and in time will clog the lines. The algae that builds up in all a/c drain lines also causes clogging of the lines. In a relatively short time the drain lines will be sufficiently blocked that flow of condensate drainage will be blocked. This will cause the a/c condensate to enter duct-work and flow into the building structure as mentioned above. These systems are virtually always abandoned due to clogging because the drain lines, being located within the building structure are difficult to access and service or repair.
Even though the presence of a/c condensate on a roof membrane is known to cause damage to the roofing system, surface drainage is the method that is most often employed for condensate drainage. Since drainage systems composed of metal or PVC pipe will become clogged and inoperative in a short period of time and are also expensive to install and maintain, it has been found most practical to allow roof surface drainage to occur, knowing that the roofing system will require repair at more frequent intervals. In this case, persistent a/c condensation fluids are allowed to collect in certain areas on the roof membrane surface, causing extensive and accelerated roof membrane deterioration. It is desirable therefore to provide an a/c condensate drainage system for flat roofed building structures which will not be subject to frequent blockage by debris, algae and the like and yet will continuously exclude a/c condensate drainage fluid from the roof membrane surface. It is also desirable to provide flat roofing systems of building structures with a/c condensate drain systems that will efficiently drain a/c condensate fluid along the roof surface to appropriate roof drains for disposal without permitting the a/c condensate to collect on the roof membrane.
Types of Roofing Systems:
The following types of roofing systems with roof mounted a/c units are specifically noted as roofing systems that would benefit from installation of an air conditioning condensation drainage system according to the present invention.
Single Ply Roofing Systems:
This type of roofing system includes all single ply systems such as ethylene propylene diene monomer or ethylene propylene diene terpolymer (EPDM), polyvinyl chloride (PVC), chlorosulfonated polyethylene (CSPE), also referred to by its registered trademark HYPALON®, thermoplastic olefin (TPO), and/or other types of single ply roofing membranes of chemically or heat welded seam systems.
Modified Bitumen Roofing Systems:
Modified bitumen roofing systems include all types of roofing systems that have a styrene butadiene styrene (SBS) or atactic polypropylene (APP) modified bitumen surface layer.
Built-Up Roofing Systems:
Built-up roofing (BUR) systems include all types of coal tar and asphalt built-up roofing systems that utilize felts or other fabrics as interply sheets that represent integral components of construction.
Metal Roofing Systems:
The term “metal roofing systems” is intended to encompass standing seam metal roofing, corrugated metal roofing and any other metal roofing that is applied in panels and having leakage preventing treatment at any panel joints that exist. The term “metal roofing systems” is also intended to encompass metal roofing installations having a metal roofing membrane and having ridge members which are attached to metal roofing by means of cement, bonding material or the like and which simulate standing seam metal roofing.
Other Roofing Systems:
The term “other roofing systems” is intended to encompass all other types of roofing systems that have a smooth surface of material or materials being exposed to weather and which define a roofing membrane that excludes water from the interior of a building structure.
It is a principal feature of the present invention to provide a novel a/c condensate drainage system for the roofing systems of buildings which provides for a/c condensate drainage along the contour of the surface of the roofing membrane and yet isolates most of the roofing membrane from continuous exposure to the condensate fluid and the chemical and heavy metal constituents contained therein;
It is another feature of the present invention to provide a novel a/c condensate drainage system for the roofing systems of buildings which can be provided in the form of one or more strip structures that are intended to be installed directly on the roof membrane surface of a roofing system to provide an open roof mounted surface drainage channel or closed drainage channel to conduct a/c condensate directly from an a/c unit to a roof mounted water drain of the roof structure;
It is an even further feature of the present invention to provide a novel a/c condensate drainage system for the roofing systems of buildings wherein the drainage system can be constructed of similar or identical roof membrane materials as compared to the roof membrane or can be of integral molded construction so that the surface mounted a/c condensate drainage system will be of sacrificial nature, being replaced as needed to permit the basic underlying roofing membrane to have a normal or conventional service life;
It is an even feature of the present invention to provide a novel a/c condensate drainage system for the roofing systems of buildings which is designed to capture air conditioning condensate and to channel the condensate along a non-destructive path over the surface of a roofing system and will direct the discharge condensation from roof mounted a/c units into an in-roof drain or gutter that is constructed from any of a number of existing roofing materials such as bitumen, rubber, CSPE, PVC, foam, TPO, asphaltic, HYPALON®, and/or any other common or uncommon materials used in the roofing industry; and
It is another feature of the present invention to provide a novel a/c condensate drainage system for the roofing systems of buildings which includes the use of pre-manufactured surface drainage system materials that are designed for installation onto a roof membrane to create a non destructive path over the surface of a roofing system and will direct the discharge condensation from roof mounted a/c units to an in-roof drain or gutter;
It is another feature of the present invention to provide a novel a/c condensate drainage system having a drain channel structure that is in the form of one or more strips of material which can be cemented, bonded or heat sealed to a conventional roofing membrane and can be molded and adhered to the roofing membrane or molded onto the roofing membrane to define one or more drainage channels for conducting air-conditioning condensate along a roof surface to one or more drains of the roof;
It is also a feature of the present invention to provide a novel a/c condensate drainage system for the roofing systems of buildings which is of integral construction, being formed in any desired manner, such as by molding or extrusion, including molding or extrusion of materials onto a roofing membrane to define air-conditioning condensate drainage channels or collector basins. The materials may be cured in place on the roofing membrane or bonded or cemented to the primary roofing membrane of a roof to create one or more water drain channels for draining a/c condensate or water from any other source to drain openings or gutters, while protecting the primary roofing membrane from accelerated deterioration by the substantially continuous presence of water, including air-conditioning condensate or its constituents.
It is another important feature of the present invention to provide a novel method and apparatus for installation of air-conditioning condensate drainage systems onto roof membrane surfaces, which include attachment of drainage channel forming materials to roof surfaces, molding of drainage; channel structures directly onto roof surfaces and extrusion of drainage channel configurations from dies directly onto roof surfaces.
Briefly, the various objects and features of the present invention are realized through the provision of an a/c condensate drainage system having one or more strips of material that are secured in any desirable manner to a roof membrane surface for the purpose of defining a drainage channel along the roof surface for air-conditioning condensate emanating from roof mounted air-conditioning units. an isolation wall or membrane which is applied to a roof membrane surface by heat welding, bonding or by any other suitable means that is common to the roofing industry. This isolation wall or membrane can be a component of an integral or one-piece construction for an air-conditioning condensate drain element will be exposed to the weather and any a/c condensate that is present and will form the bottom surface of a roof mounted drain channel structure for conducting a/c condensate along the roof surface to an appropriate in-roof drain. One of the principal functions of this isolation membrane is to ensure that the a/c condensate does not come into contact with the roofing membrane over which it flows. A pair of lateral ridge structures project upwardly from the outer edge portions of the isolation membrane and are disposed in spaced relation so as to define a condensate channel there between. The lateral ridge structures can be integral with the isolation membrane, such as when integrally formed by a molding or extrusion process, and define spacing containment walls which are of sufficient height to efficiently drain a/c condensate along the drain channel without allowing it to overflow from the condensate drainage channel and spill onto the roof membrane surface. The lateral ridge structures may be composed of multiple layers of any suitable roofing material if desired. Alternatively, the lateral ridge structures may be formed by certain roofing materials such as asphaltic impregnated board, for example, which is fixed to the isolation membrane and which is then overlaid by one or more layers of roofing membrane material so that the condensate drain channel is defined largely by the upper layer of overlying roofing membrane material and the drain channel defined thereby. The a/c drain element, if desired, maybe formed onto the roofing membrane surface by an extrusion process which causes the a/c drain element to firmly adhere or become cemented or bonded to the roof membrane.
Under circumstances where an isolation membrane of a roofing installation is composed of a material that effectively resists deterioration by the chemical constituents of air-conditioning condensate, air-conditioning condensate drainage channels may be defined on the isolation membrane by adhering strips of ridge material in spaced relation onto the isolation membrane. Preferably these ridge strips will be of generally triangular configuration, having a reasonably large base surface for cementing or bonding to the isolation membrane and with inclined lateral surfaces converging in cross-section to a relatively narrow apex. The ends of the ridge strips, and perhaps the entire ridge strips will define central openings receiving joint alignment dowels that align abutting ends of the ridge strip material. Suitable adhesive or bonding material will typically secure the ends of the ridge strips in aligned abutting assembly. If desired, strips of air-conditioning condensate drainage channel material, having a central membrane and spaced channel forming ridges may have joint configurations that interfit and overlap to ensure against leakage, and the ridges may have end openings defining receptacles for ridge alignment dowels.
As a further alternative, an a/c drain channel may be formed on a roof membrane or on a drain channel membrane layer covering a roof membrane. In this case, strips of ridge defining material can be heat sealed, cemented, bonded or otherwise secured to the roof membrane or drain channel membrane layer and can be spaced as desired for defining a drain channel of desired width. Strips of ridge defining material of this nature can be applied to the roof membrane or a drain channel membrane in a manner defining one or more collector junctions or receptacles that are arranged to receive a/c condensate from two or more a/c drain channels to minimize the amount of drain channel material that might be required to effectively prepare a roofing system for a/c condensate drainage.
A polymer foam material may be extruded from an extrusion machine directly onto a roofing membrane and may be formed to a desired air-conditioning condensate drainage channel configuration such as by means of an extrusion die of the machine. Alternatively, the polymer form material emerging from an extrusion machine onto a roofing membrane surface can be rolled or otherwise formed in its uncured state, so as to cure to the desired configuration to define a drainage channel. After curing, an external lining of a suitable protective material may be sprayed onto or painted onto the polymer form to thus define a durable and impervious external lining for a drainage channel structure.
So that the manner in which the above recited features, advantages and objects of the present invention are attained and can be understood in detail, a more particular description of the invention, briefly summarized above, may be had by reference to the preferred embodiment thereof which is illustrated in the appended drawings, which drawings are incorporated as apart hereof.
It is to be noted however, that the appended drawings illustrate only a typical embodiment of this invention and are therefore not to be considered limiting of its scope, for the invention may admit to other equally effective embodiments.
In the Drawings:
Referring now to the drawings and first to
The embodiment shown generally at 30 in
Referring now to
The strip material forming the air-conditioning condensate drain strip or strips can be supplied in rolls so that rolls of extended length can be shipped to end users. In the alternative, the air-conditioning condensate drainage strip material can be cut into strips of suitable length, i.e., ten foot lengths, twenty foot lengths, etc. and can then be packaged for shipment to wholesalers, retailers or end users.
It should also be born in mind that the drain structure shown in
As shown in
As a further example, the air-conditioning condensate drainage system of
The isometric illustration of
Another ridge strip embodiment is shown in
In some cases the tolerances of roofing installations cause the slope of the roofing membrane to be uneven so that a roof surface condition exists that causes water “pooling” on the roofing membrane. When these pooling areas of a roof are traversed by the condensate drainage strips or panels of the present invention, water pooling within a drainage channel can occur. It is appropriate in such case, therefore, to provide condensate drainage channel installations having drainage channel ridges of greater height so that pooling condensate will not overflow the drainage channels and spill onto the roofing membrane of the roofing installation. As shown in
As shown in
As shown in
In view of the foregoing it is evident that the present invention is one well adapted to attain all of the objects and features hereinabove set forth, together with other objects and features which are inherent in the apparatus disclosed herein.
As will be readily apparent to those skilled in the art, the present invention may easily be produced in other specific forms without departing from its spirit or essential characteristics. The present embodiment is, therefore, to be considered as merely illustrative and not restrictive, the scope of the invention being indicated by the claims rather than the foregoing description, and all changes which come within the meaning and range of equivalence of the claims are therefore intended to be embraced therein.